Josh Katzowitz's Week 17 NFL Picks

28 Dec, 2017 by Josh Katzowitz

Another NFL regular season has come and almost gone, and once again, if you’re correct on 66 percent of your straight-up picks, you’ve had a solid season. Week 17, as usual, is tough, because so many teams are out of contention, so many organizations are about to lose their head coaches, and so many players are just going through the motions in the final game of the season (and, in my cases, of their careers).

This week, it’s especially tough to pick because some playoff-bound squads will rest their starters (how else would the Broncos be favored to beat the Chiefs?). But here at NFL Pickwatch, we do the tough work. We pick games even though we know there’s a good chance we’ll be wrong this week. We figure out if San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo can somehow pull off a win vs. the Rams. We determine whether the Browns will become only the second team in NFL history to go 0-16. We make bold choices for all the world to see, and then we suffer the backlash when we’re occasionally wrong.

It’s been a fun year, making these selections with NFL Pickwatch. I haven’t done as well as I’ve wanted, but I’ve done OK. At least I made better picks than John Halpin.

As usual, check out Pickwatch’s John Halpin’s full slate of Week 17 picks. Now, here are a few of mine (If I’m right, make sure to congratulate me @jkatzo on Twitter).

1)Bet your life savings on this game*

I picked the Browns to beat the Bears last week, even though I really didn’t think Cleveland would. I just hate to see a team go 0-16. But since the Browns are going against the Steelers in Week 17, I’m off the Cleveland bandwagon. Plus, the Steelers have something to play for—a chance at the AFC’s No. 1 overall seed—so they’re not likely to take it easy on their AFC North opponent. Considering this might not be Hue Jackson’s last game as Cleveland’s head coach, I’m sure there will be plenty more opportunities in the years ahead to bet your life savings on the Browns to lose.

Straight up: Steelers

Against the Spread: Browns +11

2017 record for the “Bet your life savings” game: 12-4 S/U and 7-9 ATS

2)This game scares the hell out of me

Jaguars at Titans

If you’ve been picking the Jaguars to win this year, you’ve probably made yourself a little bit of money. But the fact the Jaguars are underdogs at Tennessee makes me nervous. I still think Jacksonville will win, because I think Jacksonville will want to win this game and because the Jaguars are a better team. But the Titans need to win to ensure a playoff bid, so even though Jacksonville reportedly isn’t resting its starters, it’s likely Tennessee will be hungrier to win the game. Which is why I don’t feel great about picking the Jaguars to win in the first place.

Straight up: Jaguars

Against the Spread: Jaguars +3

2017 record for the “Scares the hell out of me” game: 8-8 S/U and 8-7-1 ATS

3) Fun game of the week

Panthers at Falcons

The Panthers are already in the playoffs, and it’s still possible, though not likely, for them to clinch a first-round bye. So, they have something for which to play. But the Falcons need to win this game to make sure they’re going to the playoffs. Coming off a loss to the Saints last week, if Atlanta loses to the Panthers, the Falcons don’t deserve to make the playoffs. I’m betting they do and that they will.

Straight up: Falcons

Against the Spread: Falcons -4

2017 record for “Fun game of the week”: 11-5 S/U and 8-7-1 ATS

2017 record for every game picked in this column: 31-17 S/U and 23-23-2 ATS

S/U                            ATS

MIN over CHI           CHI +11.5

NE over NYJ             NYJ +15.5

WAS over NYG        WAS -3

PHI over DAL           PHI +2.5

PIT over CLE            CLE +11

DET over GB           DET -7

IND over HOU        IND -4

BUF over MIA         BUF -2.5

ATL over CAR          ATL -4

NO over TB             NO -7

JAC over TEN          JAC +3

BAL over CIN          CIN +9.5

SEA over ARI          SEA -9.5

KC over DEN          KC +3.5

LAC over OAK        LAC -8

LAR over SF           LAR +2.5

*Don’t really bet your life savings. Please.